SALINA — A spectacular baseball season concluded for Little River on Wednesday as the Redskins came up one victory short of making it to state.
After defeating Sacred Heart 3-1 in the Class 2-1A regional semifinals, the Redskins were defeated 11-5 by Ell-Saline.
Against Sacred Heart, Levi Swenson was nails for 6 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits and a run. Graham Stephens recorded the final out.
It was a fine duel as the Redskins scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings. Peyton Harvey came up big at the plate with two hits and all three RBIs.
In the championship game, it was 2-all going into the fourth when the Cardinals exploded for six runs and the Redskins couldn’t recover.
Harvey and Jayden Garrison collected two hits apiece. Swenson had Little River’s loudest hit with a ringing double. Harvey actually had only two plate appearances as he was ejected in the third inning for failing to slide at home and the resulting collision with the catcher. The game was 2-2 at the time and the Cardinals gained momentum from the play.
Little River, which was ranked all season, completed an 18-4 campaign. Ell-Saline is going back to state for the first time in five years as it won the state title in 2013.